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6:02 pm, May 25, 2015

Congressional Spotlight

Bills you should know about: Whistleblowers, bad apples and trolls

Congress has introduced lots of bills recently affecting federal agencies and employees. We summarize them for you here.

Thursday - 04/30/2015, 11:19am EDT

DHS's Unity of Effort seeds the roots of change

The Homeland Security Department marked the one-year anniversary of its initiative to create a more cohesive agency by launching a new acquisition innovations program.

Thursday - 04/30/2015, 03:46am EDT

GOP unveils budget plans in face of Obama opposition

Republicans controlling Congress Wednesday unveiled a budget plan for the upcoming year and beyond, setting up a confrontation with President Barack Obama over his signature health care law and his vow to boost spending on domestic programs like transportation and education.

Thursday - 04/30/2015, 03:32am EDT

FAA chief: Gyrocopter 'indistinguishable' from birds, kite

A small gyrocopter that flew through miles of the nation's most restricted airspace before landing at the U.S. Capitol was "indistinguishable" on radar from non-aircraft such as a flock of birds, a kite or a balloon, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.

Wednesday - 04/29/2015, 08:20pm EDT

Roger Zakheim, Counsel, Covington and Burling

The House Armed Services Committee might be opening the door to another round of BRAC with next year's National Defense Authorization bill. The Military Readiness subcommittee wants DoD to draw up a 20-year plan that compares its expected force structure to its future infrastructure needs. Roger Zakheim is a counsel at Covington and Burling. He's former general counsel and deputy staff director for the House Armed Services Committee, and former deputy assistant secretary of Defense. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he offered ways the committee might mark up the 2016 defense authorization bill.

Wednesday - 04/29/2015, 04:14pm EDT
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Military services cite advances in credentialing members for civilian jobs

An early series of pilot programs to translate military skills to private-sector credentials has blossomed into hundreds of projects across the military services, officials said Tuesday.

Wednesday - 04/29/2015, 04:16am EDT

White House slams GOP defense budget

The White House is vigorously pushing back against provisions in a proposed $604 billion Republican defense budget plan that contradict President Barack Obama's national security priorities on issues ranging from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to changes in weapons systems.

Wednesday - 04/29/2015, 12:00am EDT

Capitol Hill Buzz: Dems push higher pay for Senate workers

Capitol Hill Buzz: Homeless Senate worker prompts push for higher pay on Capitol Hill

Tuesday - 04/28/2015, 12:18pm EDT

David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

Two appropriations bills come to the floor of the House of Representatives this week. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says it's the earliest budget bills have been on the floor since 1974. Congress is free to focus all of its attention on passing 2016 budget plans for your agency. But plans to pass them might run into a political stonewall. David Hawkings is Senior Editor of Roll Call. On In Depth with Francis Rose and guest co-host Karen Evans, he described potential strategies for both sides of the aisle during the budget negotiations.

Monday - 04/27/2015, 04:15pm EDT
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Karen Evans, Director, U.S. Cyber Challenge

Two new bills on cybersecurity and information sharing are through the House of Representatives. One of them deals with liability protections that's been a sore spot for private sector companies. Karen Evans is national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, and former Administrator of E-government at the Office of Management and Budget. She submitted comments on one of the bills, and described them on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 04/27/2015, 04:09pm EDT
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Senators ask Carter to probe alleged retaliation against former DISA comptroller

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) wrote to Defense Secretary Ash Carter asking him to launch an investigation into possible whistleblower retaliation.

Monday - 04/27/2015, 04:50am EDT

We need to address 'deep, systemic problems' to improve federal workforce morale

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) wants to improve working conditions for federal workers by dealing with poorly performing employees more quickly. He said most federal workers are committed, hard-working people, but long-standing challenges are hampering employee success need to be addressed.

Monday - 04/27/2015, 03:46am EDT

Loretta Lynch wins confirmation as attorney general

Loretta Lynch wins confirmation as attorney general in divided Senate after months-long delay

Friday - 04/24/2015, 12:10pm EDT

Boehner: OK to swap agency budget boosts for other cuts

Boehner: OK to swap agency budget boosts for cuts elsewhere in the budget

Thursday - 04/23/2015, 05:02pm EDT

Hope springs eternal for cyber laws after House approval

Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act and the Protecting Cyber Networks Act this week. These are the first cybersecurity information sharing bills with broad support in more than five years.

Thursday - 04/23/2015, 12:38pm EDT

IRS should get spending in order before asking for larger budget, House says

The House Ways and Means Committee released a report taking issue with IRS management on matters previously raised by the Republican leadership in Congress -- tax-delinquent federal employees, paying bonuses to agency employees and use of official time during the workday.

Thursday - 04/23/2015, 10:04am EDT

Senators question Treasury's transparency of its IT projects

Two key Senate lawmakers are questioning the Treasury Department's inconsistencies in reporting the health of its major technology projects.

Wednesday - 04/22/2015, 09:30am EDT

Census begins stretch run vowing not to make same mistakes

GAO warns the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that the bureau needs to simplify its IT plans for the 2020 count. Census to finalize operational plan by September detailing technology and processes for the decennial population calculation.

Wednesday - 04/22/2015, 04:32am EDT
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DoD to miss 2017 audit deadline, says deputy chief management officer nominee

Peter Levine, the nominee to be the Pentagon's next deputy chief management officer, said he will need to choose his battles carefully over the next 18 months. His focus areas will include DoD headquarters spending and acquisition reform, he told senators Tuesday.

Wednesday - 04/22/2015, 04:08am EDT
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VA chief calls House budget proposal 'inadequate'

A House subcommittee's plan to cut the budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs by more than $1.4 billion next year will "cause veterans to suffer," VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Tuesday.

Tuesday - 04/21/2015, 09:00pm EDT
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